Everyone is different when it comes to going camping: some people like to head out with the bare minimum on their backs and sleep under the stars, and others like all the comforts of home with them when they're under canvas.
We tend to find that most people fall somewhere in the middle: there's a time for bivvy bag adventures and there are times when a blow-up mattress and full cooked meal right in your tent are the best things in the world - and quite often the weather and how many children you have in tow are pretty significant factors in deciding which is which!
If you're planning a trip that's more glamping than camping, we've compiled a list of the not-so-essential items that make camping special.
- Fairy lights. No glamping setup is complete without a couple of strings of fairy lights draped across the entrance to your tent. They also provide a nice lighting alternative to camping lanterns, which can be a little bright sometimes.
- A blow-up mattress. The key to a comfortable camping trip is a good night's sleep, and for those who prioritise being comfy an air mattress can make all the difference. These serve a practical purpose too: by raising you off the floor it insulates you against the cold and stops you losing body heat as you sleep.
- Wine glasses. There's lots of really good quality plastic tableware out there that's miles away from the chipped enamel mugs of yore. There's nothing like enjoying a nice glass of wine at the end of a day spent outdoors, and proper wine glasses will make your whole trip feel more sophisticated. Don't forget the bottle opener!
- Comfy camping chairs. Judging by the campsite at the end of a festival, camping chairs (along with cheap tents) are one of the quickest things to fall apart and get left behind (although there's no excuse for leaving broken bits of camping gear abandoned in a field when you're finished with them. Repair or recycle or at least put it in the bin!). We believe in buying good quality kit that's well made and lasts forever, which is why we make our stoves to withstand the most adventurous user. So invest in some comfy chairs that'll see more than two trips: your back will thank you!
- A really good pan. If you're backpacking, super-light cookware is perfect, and anything more substantial would add serious unecessary weight to your pack. If you're heading off glamping, chances are you're packing up the car, so you can afford to add a bit of weight. Bringing along nice quality cookware (a good cast or spun iron frying pan, a wooden spoon, a chopping board) make preparing meals an enjoyable activity rather than a chore.
- A wood burning stove. In the UK these come in handy through winter and summer: in the colder months, you can camp without freezing, and in the summer they'll make sure you stay warm even when it gets chilly at night. Our Frontier Stove weighs just 12kg, and you can cook right inside your tent as well as curl up beside it!
So those are our suggestions for making your trip one to remember. For everything else, download our Essential Camping Checklist to make sure you've got absolutely everything you need for your trip.
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